To standout, your essay—your story—should be anchored by an element of self discovery. Change needs to happen, action taken, conflicts resolved, lessons learned, all with you at the center of it. It’s the action, emotion and element of surprise that draws the reader in, fires up the brain and forges a connection with you, the story teller. In fact, it’s the details and how you choose to convey them that makes the narrative uniquely yours. If another candidate can share the same experience, thoughts and feelings, you haven’t revealed enough about yourself. Awkward as it may feel, you need to go deeper.
Write Now! Tips
> Conflict in life can be troubling, something we try to avoid. In a personal narrative, it’s conflict—or discovery—that propels the reader forward. Embrace it. Share the highs and lows, what you learned, how and why you were disappointed, moments of tension—and resolution.
> Go beyond surface details. A good litmus test: If another applicant could share the same story, rework your writing and add in more detail and personal feelings.
> Think of the essay like a conversation with a new friend. It’s a good way to get started with the right voice—your voice.